Urinary Bladder Cancer

The bladder is a balloon-shaped organ in the pelvis area whose main function is to store urine. When cells that line the inner part of bladder turn malignant, the resulting condition is cancer of bladder. Bladder cancer among adults is very common, though it can occur at all ages.

Common type of tumour is called transitional cell carcinoma (Urothelial Cancer) transitional cell tumour can arise starting from renal calyces, renal pelvis, uretr, bladder and in the urethra up to urethral meatus. This cancer has the highest risk of recurrence and demands very close follow up. Tumour types less often seen are called Squamous cell and Adenocarcinoma .


  • Blood detected in urine

  • Frequent and painful urination

  • Pain at the back and in the pelvic region

Risk Factors

  • Smoking due to presence of Nitrosamine, naphthylamine carcinogens present in smoke

  • Common in males

  • Exposure to aromatic amines and aniline dyes

  • Previous Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy

  • Long term catheter drainage in neuropathic bladder


Ultrasound, CT scan usually will detect the tumour size in the bladder and presence of similar tumour in other part of urinary passage

Endoscopic examination of the bladder usually confirms the diagnosis


Bladder tumour starts in the lining of bladder and can grow deep in to the bladder. Endoscopic resection of tumour can be done and the raw area heals well. Additional chemotherapy may be required in certain situations. Careful follow up endoscopy is important to check tumour recurrence and extension of tumour in to bladder muscle layer

  • If the tumour has spread in to the bladder muscle or there is development of Cancer in situ removal of entire urinary bladder ( Radical Treatment Surgery) will be required. Artificial new urinary bladder has to be reconstructed to provide urine drainage.

  • In certain situations initial radiotherapy followed by removal of urinary bladder may be required.

Authored by Dr N Anandan